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Asia may experience up to five years of weak growth

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Asian economies are likely to experience weak growth over the next five years as the financial crisis has reduced consumer wealth in the region’s key export markets, says Joshua Felman, assistant director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund. The financial crisis and the corresponding collapse in equities and house prices effectively sliced one year’s income from the total savings of US consumers.

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“[The American] people have lost the equivalent of one year of work income [from the reduction in gross domestic product],” he said. “Let’s say people want to replenish it. And we consider how long and the kind of savings risks they will take. I would say it would probably take 10 years to recover 100%.

“We expect consumption in the US to be subdued for a long time.”

The modest rebound in Asian exports since July has been driven by US companies replenishing their inventories after freezing orders since September 2008. But the trend is only temporary as US consumers are likely to spend less, Mr Felman said at a seminar held by the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Bangkok.

IMF: World economy healing

IMF: World economy healing

He said Asian consumption and business expansion were driven mainly by international trade, making the region highly sensitive to the downturn in global markets. The IMF estimated investment in Asia would fall by half of the degree of the decline in exports.

China’s huge stimulus spending helped trigger an investment boom, but its consumers still could not match those of the US and Europe, he said.

via Asia faces up to five years of weak growth.

Economics

Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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